VIETNAM – JAPAN EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2019
Reporter: Khauv Mỹ Trân (Tracy)
Ho Chi Minh City, 21st September 2019
MY VJEP Journey
Dear VJEP 2019.
It has been a while since I finish my wonderful VJEP 2019 journey with many amazing people that I had the chance to connect with. I would say that participating in this program was destiny to me because it came right at the time that I was looking for an opportunity to reach out more in order to gain that personal growth and precious experience.
About a few months ago, I was not confident that I could be selected out of hundreds of potential applicants but because I did not want to have any regrets, so I decided to give it a go and give my best shot. I was very glad when I knew that I passed the form round and got to the second round, but still I carried the belief that I might not make it to the final.
Fortunately enough, I passed all the rounds and came very close to the thing that I desire. So, during the preparation time, I learned many things about the programs, listened to many stories that the former participants shared about the joys, pleasures, and lessons that they had gained. From that, I had another expectation for the program, which was to grow my mindset and awareness of the environment but also had those precious relationships with the people that I was about to meet in the program.
The first day at The Common Project was quite exciting to me because we were all waiting for something that we had all been waiting for almost the summer for the moment to see the Japanese participants, but this time everything was so close to that moment already. When the Japanese delegates arrived, I was looking for my buddy in desperate because I could not remember her face even though I already had her Facebook account, but to me, they all look quite alike with similar features. I was quite nervous because my conversation with my buddy on Messenger did not go quite well. That was the reason why I had the anxiety that I and she might not understand each other and everything might be very terrible. Luckily, my buddy was a super crazy and energetic girl, and we could feel the chemistry that we had between us was not something.
At that time, I did not think that language was a barrier between us because we could still understand each other very well. That night, we were still a bit shy and a little bit hesitant I think, but at least my worries were cast away by my buddy’s welcome and smile. The next day came to the ice-breaking session, and at this time, I felt like I knew a little bit more about my buddy like she had a good voice and that she had that charisma that could attract many people. That day, I felt closer to the Japanese delegates such as Natsuki, Moeka, Sae. Everything was going well until that afternoon, on our way back to the hostel after the opening ceremony, Miyabi was burst out to tears
The scavenger hunt was great, and it did bring us closer. I still remembered vividly the time when I and Tuan taught the Japanese to sing the Vietnamese song and how they encouraged us to sing their song. I felt just like we had exchanged a little bit of ourselves during that time. It was very funny to learn that song with everyone and performed it in front of the organizers without memorizing the lyrics at all. On that day, I also knew more about the daily lives of my Japanese team including Sayaka, Moeka, and Sae. Sayaka to me was a shy and not so talkative girl to me, but I was very surprised when talking with her because we had so much in common.
There were times on conflict between the Japanese and Vietnamese delegates. One side was not active enough in their roles and one side was tired of being the active ones, I think that we all just craved for some connection with our buddies. However, as the days went by, we encountered different challenges and dealt with them together. The days on Binh Phuoc were amazing to me because they did not just require you to be physically strong but also mentally strong.
The day we went to Bu Gia Map national park was kinda interesting though because, on that day, I saw other aspects of our teams. It turned out that the ones that gave me the impression of a sweet girl were very tough and strong under some circumstances. They did not scream much and managed to keep calm even if the liches were biting their legs. That day, we were tired as hell, but we were still very happy with the experience that we have. I learned more about our nature and realized how beautiful the treasure that our country had. When we came back to Ho Chi Minh city, we hanged out more with each other. The atmosphere now was not as awkward as it used to be because we had more things in common, more topics to discuss, and I felt more cloze with my buddy because we shared with each other lots of things about life when we went shopping together. Then came the presentation day. It was crazy as hell, we spend every last second and breath to finish the PowerPoint.
We realized we could have done so much more with our green business model, there were so many cool ideas that we had to let go because of the lack of time. I think that was the perfect teamwork of my team during the whole program. I felt a sense of relief and satisfaction when we finished our presentation not just because we finished what we needed to finish but also because we had been working together to come up with something special and were able to share it with other people. The prom day was very memorable too because we were shaking, dancing, talking, singing, eating a lot. I was very proud when I received the letter from my buddy because there were no grammatical errors in that letter. So happy!!!
2 weeks together flew so quickly. I wish I had more time to experience and learn more. The experience that I had, the friends that I got, the lessons that I learned, the perception that I had, I will carry it along with my life as a treasure box. From that awareness and perception, I start to take more action to protect the environment in my very own way and work towards a sustainable future.
Thank you, my dear organizers, for devoting yourselves to this program and thank you, Mr. Seki, for creating this meaningful platform.
Anyway, Miyabi is coming to Vietnam soon, and hopefully, I will have the chance to be united with her. Thank you for the relationships that this program brought to me!